Yesterday as I sat across the room from my Dermatologist I observed his pen a paper as he scribbled down notes of answers to questions he was asking me. You know, the questions like have you ever had children? Is there heart disease in your family? Then I finally spilled out the five words that always seem to scare or shock a doctor. “I have Congenital Rubella syndrome (CRS)." He dropped his pen and his jaw quickly went to the floor. He looked at me and said, “You are one smart lady and you have had five kids?” The sentence that came out of his mouth next was words I have heard several times over the years, by other doctors. He crossed his legs and grabbed his chin. “Wow, I have never met anyone like you before. He looked at me like I was some weird freak from a circus. Then he jumped up pressed a button near the door-frame A nurse and an intern came in, but right before they did, he asked me to not tell them that I had CRS. He said with a firm smile. Let’s let them guess as to what you have. I gladly agree to entertain the doctor’s game.
The intern looked at my eyes as the doctor said, “You will never ever met someone like her in your lifetime again.” I felt like a specimen on a table ready to be cut so they could find out what was wrong with me. The nurse and the intern looked closely at my blind eye. The doctor motioned with his hands. “It’s caused from a rash and it can do horrible damage to a fetus, if not kill the fetus. This young lady is blind in her right eye, was diagnose with mircocephaly, but she is very intelligent. She was born with a heart murmur and she was hospitalized for months after she after birth. Then he said. “Remember… you will never, in your lifetime meet someone like her again.”
The doctor asked them if they knew what I had and both of them shook their heads no. HA… they couldn't figure me out. The nurse and the intern left the room and the doctor smiled as he looked at my forehead and said, looks like you have cancer we need to cut it.” Finally after he spoke I felt normal again. He spoke to me like he does with all his other patients’ and I didn't worry about the cancer, because that is what anyone can have written in the chart, but to have CRS is not one thing I know any of his other patients have in their medical folder.
Even though, deep inside my soul, I know I’m not an ordinary person. I came from a mold that finally broke when the MMR shot was born back in 1969. I am different; I am a person who doesn’t feel whole or equal to anyone, but I tell myself there are others who feel just like me. Even though they don’t have a physical appearance that makes them feel different, they can still feel out of place, not feeling like they belong anywhere or with anyone.
I have learned to look at my deformity as a reminder that I survived and won the fight with Rubella.